FIFA World Cup: Can deaf and blind fans enjoy football? Yes, they can

Watch a deaf and blind fan from Brazil and another from Colombia enjoy their countries’ matches at the FIFA World Cup 2018

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Vikrant Jha

FIFA’s tagline for the 2018 FIFA World Cup reads, “Play right, live right”. And while the Brazilian and Colombian national teams have been ‘playing right’, both the teams having topped their respective groups to reach the round of 16. Their supporters are ‘living right’.

Being deaf and blind often means giving up on the enjoyment of watching their teams succeed at the highest level, but these men, with the help of their interpreter friends, have refused to give up. They are following the matches in great details and enjoying just as much as the other fans.

While Brazilian Carlos Junior was born deaf, his vision started to deteriorate at the age of 17. Colombian Jose Richard Gallego lost his vision and hearing ability when he was just nine. But what is common between them is that they were devoted followers of the game when they had their vision. Now, even when they have lost their vision and can’t hear the commentary either, they still enjoy the beautiful game. How?

They are getting by with the help of their fabulous friends who act as interpreters. Using a mix of sign language and a model of the pitch, their interpreter friends help these fans with each and every happening of the match.

Below are the videos of fans enjoying football even though they can see or hear nothing.

Watch a Brazilian deaf and blind fan enjoy Brazil’s Group E clash against Costa Rica:

A number of Colombian fans assembled at a restaurant to watch their country’s game against Poland. Seated among them are two men facing each other, one of whom is deaf and blind:

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